After earning top-3 finishes in their last competitions, the heavyweight, lightweight, and women’s crews will all go into Saturday’s home races with confidence. With six schools traveling to Lake Cayuga, all of the rowers will need to compete with intensity to come out on top.
The lightweight boats put forth a strong performance last weekend against rival Harvard and host Penn on the Cooper River. Despite leading the Crimson for about three-quarters of the race — something lightweight head coach Todd Kennett ’91 has not seen in many years — Harvard overtook the varsity eight in the end to finish in first.
Going into Saturday’s competition, the lightweights will face Princeton and Rutgers. Coming off a sweep at the Fosburgh Cup on Lake Carnegie, Princeton will be ready for the challenge of competing on the road. In each of their last four races, the Tigers have won by comfortable margins.
Despite strong showings by Princeton in the previous races, Kennett remains confident in his team’s ability.
“Our league is probably the tightest,” Kennett said. “Either our team, Yale, Princeton or Rutgers could be the fastest on any given day. A lot of [racing] is confidence.”
The Scarlet Knights faced mixed results last Saturday against Syracuse with the varsity boat finishing first in 6:07.8.
While taking an early lead may work in the Red’s favor, conditioning will be the deciding factor in the race.
“You don’t have to be in the lead for the whole race,” Kennett said, “but hopefully you [get in] the lead and the other [boats] start racing for second and third place.”
On Sunday, the lightweights will return to the water to take on Yale, who had decisive victories over Dartmouth last weekend.
With a weekend off from competition, the heavyweights have had time to focus on building speed and intensity before facing Syracuse and Navy on Saturday.
In their last race against Georgetown, the Red swept the event with the varsity, second varsity and third varsity all coming out on top of the Bulldogs. But even with the success, head coach Dan Roock continues to change the boat lineups.
“I’ve been switching lineups mostly every day through Tuesday,” Roock said. “It takes time to accurately assess all of the combinations of rowers, especially given the lousy conditions we often have to row in on Cayuga. All [of the] boats are slowly getting faster.”
Even with the crew’s earlier success, the rowers will have to watch out for both competitors this weekend. Navy is favored in the matchup, with the Orange still trying to break out from its early season struggles.
“What makes this race special is that all three crews bring their best effort,” Roock said. “Anyone can win. It is a traditional grudge match.”
On the women’s side, the varsity boat is coming off of a third place finish on the road last weekend against Radcliffe and Princeton. Princeton dominated the varsity races, but Cornell’s novice boat came out ahead of the Tigers.
This weekend, the women will host Rutgers and Penn, teams that are both looking to capture a first-place finish after falling short last weekend.
Against Brown, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, Rutgers took third in the varsity and second varsity races.
Penn, also on the road last Saturday, came in only two seconds behind first place Syracuse in the varsity eight race. Their varsity and second varsity four managed to pull out victories over Northeastern, Syracuse and the University of Massachusetts during the competition.
This Saturday’s competition is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Lake Cayuga.
Archived article by Kristina Kovach
Sun Staff Writer